By Bunny Ware | July 20, 2019
Part of the life we enjoy in the south is our bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, handcrafted decorations, homemade treats and our unparalleled love of our four legged friends.
Lucky for us Shepherd Living has combined all four of my favorite things in front of their luxurious senior living community located near Savannah Quarters on July 13.
Walking up to the first of 17 tents, I click pics of Horsin’ Around’s Nicole Schiffhauer, Emily and Brandon Carroll from All Bark Boutique and take a pause to chat with one of Jamaica’s treasures, Belinda Baptiste. The Unforgettable Bakery & Café owner hands me her “momma made recipe” of Rosemary Limeaid, then rearranges her coconut bread rolls and vegan Whoopie Pies.
Sharing my love of Belinda, David and Teresa Mihuta are talking about Belinda feeding the homeless and serving Thanksgiving dinners when Patricia’s Sweets Kevin Gibbs hands me a strawberry pound cake. David smiles, tells me take it home and then helps me weasel some info out of the photo-reluctant former Air Force officer.
After a hug and congratulations to David and Teresa on the birth of their grandbaby Magnolia Josephine, I trot to my next booth and meet Prowl Food Truck’s Zachary Tillery and Bret Gnat and then convince Blossom and Blooms Wreaths Susanne Livingston and Beth Malone to pose together in front of a magnificent patriotic wreath.
Next is a mini photo session of patient friends Liz Jackson and Aururo Geerts with their four children; Heather Alkire and Magnolia, the tiny pup, with Amanda Micheal; The Bee’s Knees Ed and Hannah-Joy DiNello then pose By the SEA Soaping Elena Elkassas-Vachev holding her Cucumber Melon and Shades of Grey soap.
With a cool breeze weaving through the booths, I take a detour and head up the steps to sit for a second with long last seen Olivia Taylor and watch “hope to be adopted Chadwick the Chihuahua and Bailey, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever” crawl all over her. (Bailey was adopted later in the day.) A long time foster parent and volunteer for Coastal Pet Rescue, Olivia tells me, “Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of owning a zoo in Savannah. I now have a zoo of dogs in my house and CPR gives me my animal fix everyday.”
We need more Olivia’s in the world and knowing that she is helping CPR’s founder Lisa Scarborough keep her mission of saving the lives of homeless, abused and neglected animals in Liberty, Long, Bryan, Effingham and Chatham counties makes me heart this woman even more.
On the lookout for a sighting of Lisa, I remember when I met Lisa back in 2003 when her entire house and backyard were filled with animals she was determined to save. Fast forward 16 years, 110 volunteers and over 2,500 animals later and you have the most beloved pet nonprofit in the Lowcountry.
After a perfect pic of Olivia and her foster pups, I head to the other side of the front porch and have a photo shoot with Shepherd Living’s Shamiria Key and A’Lante Hunter and then their resident’s, Linda Johnston, Mary Lou Bowers, Ursula Janssen and Kathy Brooks.
Not use to how quick I click my camera, I tease the ladies about modeling and make one final stop at Southern Soaked Shilo Foreman’s table filled with 100% soy wax soaps. Sniffing on her beer soap, I grab a seat and show her my pics of Iceland and hook her up with a Icelandic tour guide before making one last lap to find Shepherd Living Director Robert Todd.
Sharing with me how the second Saturday of the month is dedicated to opening their doors to farmers, artist, bakers or any type of vendor, Robert hits a note when he says, “Often doors are shut on seniors but we keep our doors open by building our community in the community; we all want to belong.”
Meet me next month at this resort-style assisted and independent senior living community where locals are given a place to gather, sell their wares and create a mini-market of support and camaraderie, all while benefiting a nonprofit!
This article was published in Savannah Now.